I was very lucky to go to the United States and finally get this kind of an internship because, I had been given the opportunity to work in one of the most productive scientific sector of the country, The Californian Institute of Technology. This American college is one of the research centres of the NASA, so this internship is very representative of the American way of working. Everything is put at the researcher's disposal no matter the cost. The only thing that matters is productivity. A solution has to be found and as soon as possible. So the laboratories are impressive and equipped with latest fashion hardware. I worked in the mathematics department of the University, which is just a succession of offices, it was obvious that the only tools used there were mathematicians brains and laptops. I did not have my own office but I had to work in professor Haddad's office who lent me a laptop, that I just used to communicate with the professor when I was not in the office. Indeed, I only used papers and a pen to do the work I was assigned. The professor spent one afternoon with me; he wanted to know more about my mathematics background to see if I was able to make it. Of course I did not know some of the notions I would have to use, but the professor told me he will explain in due course those complex notions I never learned. I have already heard about the Phoenix Mars Lander mission and I knew that the general purpose was to find out if life was possible in Mars, but I didn't know the whole concept, it is a Mars lander that has to take samples and to find frozen water in order to study the history of water in Mars. After presenting me the mission, Ziad Haddad showed me what the problem was with Phoenix. The spaceship has to land vertically because if it is not the case, it won't be able to take off and come back to earth with the samples.
[...] Mathematical Solution for the attitude of Phoenix lander's radar (rapport de stage) Table of Contents 1. Introduction: Corps du projet: Coherent processing for attitude and velocity determination from Phoenix's landing radar The California Institute of Technology and the NASA JPL Presentation of Caltech Presentation of the NASA JPL Presentation of the project The ambitious Mars exploration program The Phoenix mission Scientists worries about Phoenix Mission The lander attitude control Presentation of the problem The technical approach of the problem The mathematical solution My experience at Caltech University The technical improvement The human experience Conclusion Bibliography: Appendix XXVII 1. [...]
[...] The professor always uses a logical method for everything, and it always leads to a consistent result. So I am trying now to follow his example and I think that it will help me a lot in my daily life and in my career. What actually surprised me is the social skills my mentor has, indeed, generally people think that smart scientists like mathematicians, do not have a social life and communication skills, but Ziad Haddad was very friendly with me and with all his colleagues in the laboratory who were working on other projects. [...]
[...] Sometimes I had to call my uncle in France who is a mathematician to send me mathematics books about some theories I had to learn without disturbing Mr. Haddad, that way I could show him that he could rely on me. This is one of the main rules of the American way of working: Always show that you are a reliable worker. Indeed, the American system is very different from the European one. And that was one of the reason I absolutely wanted to go to the United States. I wanted to work in an unknown setting and to learn about a new way of working. [...]
[...] They will fit alongside the craft's robotic arm. Icy, muddy samples of the Martian soil are to be scooped up via the mechanical appendage, with those specimens deposited into instruments for detailed chemical and geological analysis. "It's not like we're going to incubate bacteria on Mars. But we are going to study the soil for its ability to harbor life," Doukas explained. The Phoenix mission has lived up to its namesake as it "raises from the ashes" a spacecraft and science gear from two previous unsuccessful attempts to explore Mars: the Mars Polar Lander failure of 1999, as well as a Mars Surveyor 2001 Lander that was well along in development, but mothballed in the wake of back-to-back failures at Mars. [...]
[...] In 1917 Hale hired architect Bertram Goodhue to produce a master plan for the 22-acre (89,000 m²) campus. Goodhue conceived of the overall layout of the campus and designed the Physics Building, Dabney Hall, and several other structures, in which he sought to be consistent with the local climate, the character of the school, and Hale's educational philosophy. Goodhue's designs for Caltech were also influenced by the traditional Spanish mission architecture of Southern California. The Millikan Library, the tallest building on campus. [...]
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